Saturday, December 29, 2012

Diaper Bags

Some designer diaper bags are $50 plus!  Are we nuts to pay that!  The hospital gives you one for free, you can find them at yard sales or thrift stores for a couple bucks, and you will usually get 1 or 2 at your baby shower.  Why would you pay more than a few bucks for something that just holds clothing, diapers or food?  If you look at that description of a diaper bag, an empty grocery bag will do the same thing

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Saving $10,000 in 2013

I want to save $10,000 in 2013, but not by going out of the home to work more, or encouraging my husband to work more.  I want to save $10,000 by saving more of what we already spend.  I am currently in the process of evaluating each month of last year for how much I spend in the following catagories:  gas, grocery, clothing and dining out.  It kinda goes without saying that I will begin that process of training myself to determine the difference between needs and wants (a line that I think most Americans have severely blurred).  But in the meantime, here are a few things that quickly add up to $10,000

  1. Trim $100/month from your grocery budget = $1200/yr
  2. Trim $100/month from your gasoline budget = $1200/yr
  3. Trim $200/month from your dining out budget = $2400/yr
  4. Trim $100/month from your clothing budget = $1200
  5. Cut cable/satellite = $800/yr
  6. DIY auto and home repair = $500/yr
  7. Drop internet from your cell phone = $360
  8. Dye your own hair every 8 weeks = $520
  9. Reduce home electricity use by 25% - $400
  10. Buy almost everything used, and then make it last as long as possible = $500

Now obviously some of these things won't apply to everyone.  For instance, we are not going to completely cut our cable/satellite out, but I can probably save more than the $100 for groceries and for gas (some months anyways).  And if you think about it, there are probably other areas you can cut to make big savings, so here are some other areas:

  1. Memberships to gyms, clubs, etc - do you need them, do you use them, are they saving you money?
  2. Processed foods versus convenience foods - what is the true value and true cost?
  3. Toys for the kids - how many do they need?  Do they even play with the ones they have?
  4. Internet service - do you need the super speedy gaming service, or will a more basic package work just fine?
  5. Day care - do you have to work a second job because day care for 1 kid is usually at least 6,000 annually
  6. Entertainment - going out to the movies, going to expensive parks and museums - the free ones tend to be just as good, and more plentiful, plus use the redbox for a movie (or the library where they are free)
  7. Electronics - do you need a new ipad, new computer, etc if you are really just getting and up grade?  How necessary are the up grades anyway?  My husband and I recently just backed our files up, erased our hard drives and reinstalled our OS, now they work much better, much faster and much easier - for free because we still had the old OS and other drives discs
Take some time and reevaluate last year and find areas you could have cut - make a list with the items/catagories and the amounts and post it somewhere so you can see it, add the totals up and imaging that amount either drawing interested in your savings or having used it to reduce your debt.